Freshman English

Welcome Back

New year, new start to the Freshman English blog. Never mind the older dates on the posts below. They’re probably new to you anyway. But, yes, our first go round stalled a bit in our second semester, when we were beset by technical problems and, alas, a narrowing-then-closed window for writing. The technical problems are […]

Term(inal) Papers

One of the topics of conversation around here has been “The Research Paper”; in particular, the question of whether FE instructors are required to assign a research paper.  (You are definitely missing out on some productive conversations if you don’t hang around the FE Triangle [163, 126, and 125]). Many composition instructors are accustomed to […]

Old New Ideas

Apropos of very little, I wanted to offer a few snippets from what has to be my favorite article of the last year or so. It took me a while to get around to it (it’s from the November 2011 issue of College English), but I am fascinated. The article is itself comprised of snippets […]

Flow and Eddy

I like easy puzzles. My favorite puzzle, in fact, has only one piece. In a recent conversation with other writing instructors, I raised the question of why so many students come into the Writing Center asking for help with the flow of their writing: “Does my paper flow?” “Do my paragraphs flow?” It’s an understandable […]

“Thesis” Goes Viral

In my previous “Anti-Thesis Thesis” post, I offered some reasons why I have moved away from focusing on “thesis” in my classes.  This week, I look at what happens when instructors (broadly conceived) focus on that one-sentence-at-the-end-of-the-first-paragraph-that-crystalizes-the-argument. The form of the forensic argument is often reduced synecdochally  to its “thesis statement.” As such, the thesis […]

Improvisation and Composition #1

In an afterword to his extensively researched history, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, George Lewis expresses his disappointment with the limited rhetorical form of the scholarly book, especially as it pertains to his subject, the Chicago-based musical collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Although this […]